Welcome to our new Literacy area at the Discovery Academy. Leading Literacy is both exciting and challenging and I want to share with you some of the pathways we travel to ensure all our students have the very best opportunities available to them on their journey with us.
It is imperative that young people today are able to read at a level that is equal to, or above, their age. By the time they take their GCSEs, the minimum reading age they need is 14 years and 6 months as this is the level at which examination papers are set. To support your child, we regularly check their reading age and, if there is a gap between this and their actual age, we put in place measures to reduce and close that gap.
Our excellent Teaching and Learning Support Staff work closely with students using a range of programmes that boost phonics and fluency skills. All students have a reading book from our library as part of their “required equipment” and they read every day in the afternoon for 20 minutes. This exposes them to almost 1.8 million words a year which is important for developing their vocabulary and comprehension skills. Years 7 and 8 all have a username and password for the Accelerated Reader programme (accessible via our website). This allows them to complete a quiz, based on the book they have just read, which tests their comprehension and inference skills – essential for their English GCSEs.
Literacy is not just about reading though. Writing and Oracy are also key elements and to ensure our students have all the tools they need, whatever lesson they are in, their planners are packed with guides and tips from pages 120 to 133. Here they will find how to plan to write in an informative or persuasive style, or to analyse and evaluate. There are tips on developing and extending writing, essential for higher grades. Encourage your child to have these pages open when they are completing homework!
To develop and enhance the Oracy skills of our students, we are working with the English Speaking Board and introducing a new qualification that supports their preparation for the speaking and listening elements of their GCSEs. We have Oracy lessons where students practice their use of open questions, their descriptive and explain skills whilst also using oracy as a means of communication.
Please take some time to browse through the Literacy area as we add resources that can support and develop your child’s progress. We will also use this area to share ideas on supporting children’s reading at home through the Blog area.
We look forward to working with you as we continue our journey towards developing your child’s confidence in Literacy.
Mrs J Belt